literature mourning poetry Uncategorized

under catalpa trees

no death

represents a single loss

it is a lifetime of little ones

i didn’t just lose my father

i lost his voice

his cologne

him beaming as i accepted my diploma

the father daughter dance at my wedding

him teaching my sons to fish

family reunions under catalpa trees

but i remember the way he laughed

it was left behind in his grandsons eyes

and in

their gleeful bellies

his joy rising from the deep

it is simply

my favorite mercy


Spring Play

I thought

I understood what



and beauty


until I saw the smile

beam from the face

of my son


his leading role bows

before the applauding theatre

as he realized

he had just achieved


he never thought possible

addiction poetry sociology

moment of clarity, by god

perhaps i should preface this

by saying this is not a sobriety poem


i didn’t decide to stop drinking

because i hit rock bottom

i decided to quit drinking

because i am headed for the top


i’ve never woken up beneath an

underpass raped with no memory

or panties


never had a dui from a Christmas party

gone wild


my liver isn’t about to change its name

to Larry Hagman


i decided to quit drinking

to break the family curse

to honor my father and friends


i am attending AA meetings

to model good behavior

for my children



childhood education Jazz Music nature poetry Short Stories sociology Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

a good bleeding

better understands
than the child
or spouse
of a writer

the way someone can exist
in a state of absence
yet be seated in the next room

perhaps if i worked downtown
left everyday in a nursing uniform
or struck out at 3 a.m.
in my old mortician’s black suit

my vocation
wouldn’t seem so intrusive

i should install a barber’s pole
outside my office door
wear a leather apron
scream show tunes
and keep jars of leeches

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

blue mohawk girl

there was no part of me
that could find the will
to protest

when the 18 year old
blue mohawk girl
with a screaming sticky-dirty baby
on her hip
and more metal in her face
than a tackle box
cut me off
in the u-scan lane
at the super market

all i could muster was pathos
as she began charging her dreams away
one baby food jar at a time

i know her
i’ve been her

either daddy didn’t love her enough


he loved her

a little too much

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

romulus and remus

having twin teenagers with autism
is and will be
the greatest challenge of my life
if i survive this
i can whip anything

there are days when it’s hard to tell
who is screaming at you
the autism
or the 18 year old asshole

their teeth come out
bile and vomit spray the walls
over being asked to pick up their dirty socks

it is then i remember there is a tall bridge
perfect for giving up
right down the road from my house

and i think of what would happen
in my horrid wake
the abusive father the only one left
to care for them
the equivalent of throwing them to the wolves
romulus and remus made flesh

death is just another luxury a single mother can’t afford

not loving them enough to stay alive…
that isn’t me

that’s what my father would do

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

no one has carried me

i am a single mother
of 18 year old twin boys
who have autism
attention deficit disorder
and bi-polar disorder

divorced their con-man father
after 8 years of marriage
at age 26
because i had grown up
and was fed up
with his backward
abusive ways
realizing he was a pedophile
who groomed me for three years
as a child
before i caved in
to his disease

after ten years
as a mortician
a lifetime as a poet
and a childhood as a southern baptist
i am convinced there is no god
or if there is
he isn’t concerned with me

but that’s okay

i’ve survived
more than that
i’ve kicked ass

i don’t need him to be

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

fallen apples

my mother
reads her computer screen

wincing at my words
some days

but then
she smiles
remembering who my parents are

knowing i am a living monument
to her wilder ways

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

beautiful bastard

would be your 73rd birthday
had you lived to see it

but we both know
it’s for the best
you didn’t

i spent the first three decades of life
with your absence
occupying the most space in my every room

but i am older and wiser now, daddy
and i have tasted your black pain

realizing it was a merciful death
you stopped hurting
and everyone who loved you

we learned
to ache for you in another way

but thank you for making it 44 years

and leaving me your swagger

you are the beautiful bastard

who put the wicked in my ways

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

open letter to my first husband, the steaming pile of potential

please know
they’re growing up well
in spite of you

…and the lack of you

boys who stand taller
than shadows cast